Iowa Public Television


Tobacco Trial Enters Remedies Phase

posted on May 6, 2005

When an appeal court barred the government from seeking $280 billion in a civil racketeering trial against cigarette makers earlier this year, many legal scholars said the heart of the case had been ripped out.

But this week, the government pressed ahead as it began to lay out potential remedies -- ranging from smoking-cessation programs to court-imposed corporate monitors -- that could cost Big Tobacco billions of dollars.

Cigarette makers say many of the suggestions won't meet strict standards the appeals court established, and others simply mirror restrictions in settlements the companies reached with states in the late 1990s.

With no jury, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler will decide which penalties to impose if she agrees with the government's charge that cigarette makers conspired to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.

Tags: Congress courts news smoking tobacco